Here are a few things we know about Deputy Prime Minister and M.P. for Sabatia, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi:
First, he is not a self-made man.
We are not here talking about not being a self-made man for merely being born to privilege; far from it.
Many examples abound of men who qualify for that classification even though born to privilege and you would have to look no further than Raila to when counting them.
Why is being a self-made man important, one may ask; there is something admirable about being one.
Whether in business or in government, a self-made man reassures those he leads he has been there and understands their needs and knows what needs to be done to meet them or to have them excel in their endeavors.
But, more importantly, a self-made man he gives those he leads hope that they, too, can make it by working as hard as he has and that, conversely, he has not made it to where he is by accident or will not take it for granted how he got there.
Otherwise, you are simply dealing with those it’s said were born with a silver spoon in their mouths and wander through life without ever having a clue what an ordinary person’s life is like or what sacrifice means or even what can be done to make the lives of the ordinary folk better.
By this measure, Mudavadi is not a self-made man.
That does not mean he could not have become one through his life to date.
Having succeeded his late father and Moi confidant Moses Mudamba Mudavadi as M.P. for Sabatia, Moi made Mudavadi our country’s youngest minister at age 39.
This would have been an ideal opportunity to break from his comfy background and be his own man, let alone a self-made one.
Unfortunately, however, most people would remember Mudavadi for his 6-weeks stint as VP and serving as Uhuru project running mate in 2002 than anything he ever did as minister.
Third, if Mudavadi did not distinguish himself as minister, he has done no better as DPM even though compared to his colleague Uhuru, one would have to toss a coin as to which one has been worse than the other.
I have previously noted that a compelling case can be made that Mudavadi has, in fact, performed better than Uhuru as DPM but that is just what that was: noting that a compelling case can be made, not that it is made.
Fourth, as noted above, Mudavadi holds the dubious record of being the shortest serving Vice-President of the Republic of Kenya, a position he accepted without shame because he and a handful of other Kenyans led by former president Daniel Arap Moi actually believed that Moi would succeed in shoving Uhuru down our throats as Moi’s successor back in 2002.
In a resounding no vote, Kenyans rejected the Uhuru project and enthusiastically embraced and voted for Kibaki with the blessing of Raila with his “Kibaki Tosha” declaration at Uhuru Park which propelled Kibaki to State House as our Third President.
Mudavadi defied common sense and all prevailing wisdom at that time in allowing Moi to use him in the manner he did and to be fair to him, many a politician driven by unchecked ambition would have succumbed to Moi’s antics in the same fashion.
Mudavadi and Uhuru having been beaten down to the pulp in the 2002 run-in with Kibaki, Raila and Co., he was basically left for the political dead.
Obviously and without any doubt having noticed which direction the wind was blowing, Mudavadi wised up and joined the Orange Democratic Movement led by Raila who basically used his influence to have Mudavadi made his running mate for the 2007 elections.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Except Mudavadi out of the blue decided early this year to re-write part of that history by demanding that he must be allowed to challenge Raila for the ODM nomination in the name of “internal democracy.”
Given the development of events since Mudavadi made public his quest, it is obvious this has had nothing to do with “internal democracy” but the execution of a poorly designed plan to position Mudavadi as yet another project and unbelievably involving none other than Uhuru Kenyatta himself.
To be sure, there were those saying and even providing historical reasons why Mudavadi is another Moi project but it matters less which project he is because he is clearly someone’s project.
This is because if his ambition was simply to become president as his own man, he would have duked it out with Raila for the nomination and even if he were not to succeed, he still could run as an independent if he believed he has the masses behind him.
The latest poll show Mudavadi polling at about 5% of the national vote.
The climb from there to garnering even another 5% to max out at 10% is monumental and it doesn’t matter how much money is to be poured as it shall for the saying puts it well:
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
Moi made a spirited effort and fooled those who voted for UK and Mudavadi in 2002.
When Mudavadi presented himself as one who had learned his lesson from the whopping in 2002 along with UK and more importantly upon Raila resurrecting him from the dead and brought him under his wings, Kenyans gave the duo the nod only to be denied the full prize by Kibaki and Co.
Mudavadi wisely went silent, enjoying what little perks and privileges he would as DPM and all would have been good for him but for his sudden change in course and demanding topple the very man who resurrected him from the dead.
If this is how Mudavadi thanks those who do him favors, then he has a thing or two to learn about life.
Once he does that, and he ever succeeds again politically, he would have earned himself the adoration a “self-made man.”
Until then, Mudavadi shall remain a living proof of how not conduct oneself politically and that defying common sense and prevailing wisdom has its price and twice as much if that is the second time one does so.